I grew up surrounded by disability, and to me, I always felt like it was a superpower. It made my family and extended family a tighter village, it made every baby born into our family more compassionate, caring, empathetic and proud. Having your eyes open to a world outside of your own when you’re a child is a gift nothing else will compare to. It makes you appreciate your loved ones and your own mind and body, which can be hard to do when you’re an adult, let alone a child.
But, it also opens your eyes to how different other people see the world and how a lack of knowledge can make people naive and insular. Living with a disability or caring for a person with a disability is lifelong. It requires a physical and mental toughness that most people won’t have to find within themselves in their lifetime. And it’s forever important that we acknowledge what is required to live with a disability or care for a person with a disability. It’s also important that we celebrate the differences people have and give equal opportunity for each and every human on the planet.
When I saw this new Nike video, I got butterflies and chills at the same time. The new video was made to show the moment Justin Gallegos becomes the first athlete living with Cerebral Palsy to get a pro-Nike sponsorship. Justin’s dream is to break the two-hour mark in a marathon. We are lucky enough to be able to watch the moment his life dreams start becoming his reality. And thank you Nike, not only for changing Justin’s life but mostly for helping in the fight to change the stigma around what people living with disability are capable of and lending support to those who truly deserve it.
Warning: you can’t possibly get through this without tears. But the good kind!
Here is a post from Justin himself, explaining how special it was.
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Today on world Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day, I reached a milestone in my running journey! Today I made Nike history and became the very first athlete with Cerebral Palsy to sign a contract with Nike! You don’t realize how realistic and emotional your dreams are until they play out before your very eyes! Signing this contract was a huge success for me and I would not have made it without my friends and family and teammates! This was perhaps the most emotional moment in my seven years of running! Growing up with a disability, the thought of becoming a professional athlete is as I have said before like the thought of climbing Mt. Everest! It is definitely possible, but the odds are most definitely not in your favor! Hard work pays off! Hundreds of miles, blood, sweat, and tears has lead me here along with a few permanent scars! But the journey is damn sure not over!!! Looking back, I would guess there is only a few select people who would see me were I am today! I have gone through just about everything in the book to be where I am today! I was once a kid in leg braces who could barely put on foot in front of the other! Now I have signed a contract with Nike Running! Trust the process! And most of all trust in God! God is good! Thank you to all my friends, family, and teammates on running club, and now a brand new atmosphere on teammates with Nike! This moment will live forever! Thank you everyone for helping show the world that there is No Such Thing As A Disability! #ProfessionalAthlete #SWOOSH #Nike72 #NikeTrackandField #NikeXC #ThereIsNoFinishLine #StrongerEveryMile #NoSuchThingAsADisability #NikeRunning #Limitless #Breaking2 Video Credits: @elevation0m
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